Tend to compare and tend to be fair: The relationship between social comparison sensitivity and justice sensitivity

Shanshan Zhen, Rongjun Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social comparison is a prerequisite for processing fairness, although the two types of cognition may be associated with different emotions. Whereas social comparison may induce envy, the perception of unfairness may elicit anger. Yet, it remains unclear whether people who tend to have a strong sense of fairness also tend to compare themselves more with others. Here, Study 1 used a modified ultimatum game (UG) and a social comparison game (SCG) to examine the relationship between justice sensitivity and social comparison sensitivity in 51 young adults. Study 2 examined self-reported social comparison and justice sensitivity in 142 young adults. Both studies showed a positive correlation between social comparison sensitivity and justice sensitivity. We reason that social comparison and justice sensitivity have an important positive correlation in human decision-making. The rejection of self-disadvantageous inequality offers may be due to the social comparison effect, which suggests that the tendency to compare oneself with others may contribute to having a strong sense of justice. Our findings suggest that the predictions of game theory may vary depending on the social culture context and incorporating notions of fairness and social comparison tendency may be essential to better predict the actual behavior of players in social interactive situations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0155414
Number of pages17
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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